Board says not allowed to enroll in an out of state RN-BSN program?

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    I have recently begun to look at some RN-BSN programs. Quite a few school admissions counselors have sent me some info. However, I just got off the phone with a rep from Walden University. He said as of July 2012 they are "not allowed to enroll students from North Carolina into the RN to BSN program". He said the NC BON told Walden that schools outside of NC with a practical component are not allowed to enroll students. The board is supposedly reviewing this issue and will give a ruling this summer. Have any of you run into this issue? I am quite confused because:
    1. I have not heard of this from any of the schools I looked at.
    2. I don't see any type of notification about this on the NC BON website.
    3. I didn't think the board regulated where my additional degrees came from. I already have my RN license.
    4. Yes I can call the board, but I'll probably have to wait forever and a Sunday for a response.

    What's going on? I have always thought of Walden University as a very reputable school. Are thy blowing smoke up my coat tail? He said that is the only reason why they are not enrolling NC students. I'm panicking because none of the schools I have my eyes on are located here.
  2. 6 Comments so far...

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    The BON doesn't regulate where you get your degree from, but it does regulate nursing education within the state, and it has made a determination that students enrolled in out-of-state programs that do clinicals within the state are being educated within the state of NC and that falls under the jurisdiction of the BON.
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    When was this decision made, and where is it published? Thx. I spoke with someone at the NCBON last week about Indiana State & she did not seem to think it an issue for students to complete clinicals in North Carolina.
    Last edit by VeganLPN on Jan 14, '13
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    This is the message I received last week from the NCBON:

    "The Board of Nursing has not approved clinical agencies/facilities in many years. That should not be an issue for you unless ISU has some sort of requirement."

    She went on to wish me luck with the program.
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    I spoke with someone at the NCBON who said this decision was not made by the BON. She said it was made by the UNC General Administration office. I left a message for the contact at that office and am waiting for a call back.

    This situation has me quite confused because I am not aware of any online RN-BSN programs requiring clinicals. Most require an independent capstone or project but not actual clinicals as there is no preceptor or skillset evaluation involved. I also don't understand why UNC is telling me where I can and cannot obtain my BSN degree. Walden is the only school telling me this.
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    There are federal regulations related to online education (and federal funding) that were written some time ago that are gradually going into effect. You are getting caught in the period of uncertainty as the 50 states and multitude of online schools that cross state lines figure out how they are going to handle it.

    The core of the issue is that the individual states have the right (and obligation) to certify educational programs within their state. The question is: Where does online education occur (for the purposes of state accreditation)? Does it occur in the physical location where the school's computer is located? ... in the state where the student is located? ... in the state where the online faculty member lives? ... etc. With the growth of online programs that cross state lines, which state is responsible (and obligated) to approve these programs?

    There are some very legitmate online programs ... but there have also been some online "diploma mills" that have raised concern from lawmakers at both the state and federal level. They want to protect the public from being exploited by the bad schools -- many of whom "fly under the radar" of the various accreditation agencies and of the state boards (in all fields, not just nursing). So regulations have been put in place that can be interpreted to mean that in order for a school to offer education in a given state, it must be approved by that state to operate a school in that state. The online schools argue that the regulations place an undue burden on them to get approval from all 50 states -- and some states are not prepared to review that many schools, particularly when those schools are not physicially located in their state.

    So ... everybody involved is looking for some sort of way to design a system whereby online schools can be sure to not fall through the cracks of state approval, but that is reasonable to accomplish. While that is being sorted out, each school and each state is making its own decisions about how much risk it wants to take by skirting the new regulations. From the original post, it sounds like Waldon is deciding its not wanting to risk running afoul of the NC Board (and federal regulators) at this time and is backing off new enrollments for the moment.

    I hope that explains things a bit.
    Last edit by llg on Jan 14, '13
    elkpark likes this.
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    I have a message into the General Administration as well. Agh... making my hair gray. Not good for me, great for my stylist.


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